Waking Dormant Contacts with Re-Engagement Campaigns

It is easier than ever to build a long list of email marketing contacts, but what really counts is converting these contacts into paying customers.

A key strategy for making the most of your current contact list is an effective re-engagement campaign. Instead of gathering more and more email addresses, it pays off to weed out unresponsive contacts, and meaningfully reconnect with those contacts who show potential.

This may sound time consuming and effortful, but with the right tools and tips you can easily launch your own re-engagement campaign and find your responsive audience, hiding right there in plain sight, in your existing contact list.

Nurture Your Contacts. Boost Your Engagement.

Done correctly, a re-engagement campaign functions as a safety net to ensure none of your contacts are slipping through the cracks. Once you’ve taken some time to built it, you can automate the campaign to reach out to contacts who have not engaged in a while. Many marketers choose to ping their contacts after they have gone 6 months without engagement. Once your re-engagement campaign is set up and doing its thing, it will boost overall conversion rates for new leads.

An effective re-engagement campaign will also keep your marketing database clean with only engaged subscribers, giving you an overall higher engagement rate, which in turn keeps your deliverability strong. On average, 70% of an email list is unengaged. This makes for a huge opportunity to improve sales with contacts who already are aware of your brand, and have opted in at some point. Since they’ve already expressed interest, they are a better use of time and resources than going out and trying to generate new leads. Plus, with your re-engagement campaigns up and running – you’ll be sending new leads into a better system – one where contacts are being fully nurtured instead of slipping through the cracks.

Step 1: Clean Up Your Database

The first step in building an effective re-engagement campaign is cleaning up your contact database. This means ensuring the email addresses in your system are active. Sending marketing emails that bounce or are marked as spam hurts your reputation and can ultimately have a negative impact on your deliverability. A re-engagement campaign that has a high bounce or spam rate is going to do more harm than help, so culling your list of inactive email accounts is essential. Many email marketing services, such as MailChimp, have a mechanism for cleaning up your database, but depending on the size of your list and what type of system you use, you might consider using a list cleaning service, such as BriteVerify. In addition to protecting your emailing reputation, having a clean database will help contain costs, since many email database services charge per contact. Why pay to retain contact addresses that are inactive or bouncing?

Step 2: Segment Contacts to Personalize Re-engagement

Now that you have cleaned up your database, you are ready to reach out to all of your contacts who have fallen off the radar and turn them back into engaged customers, right? Not so fast. The importance of segmenting and personalizing your campaigns is well known, and the same applies to any re-engagement campaign. A great place to start is with your low hanging fruit. Do you have a segment of contacts that reached out in the past but never quite made a sales connection? These are your best options for re-engagement. Think also about building out segments of subscribers who haven’t opened an email in 6 months but are still receiving them. Even better, look at the groups described above (or similar ones), and break them down even further using persona, region, or where they were left off in your sales funnel. There are plenty of ways to segment your list for potential re-engagement, so get creative.

Once you have parsed some segments for re-engagement, tailor your campaign to these groups. Consumers are savvy and can often tell when they are being lumped into a 20,000 contact campaign. The more your email makes a contact feel like their needs and desires are being spoken to directly, the more likely they are to re-engage with your brand and ultimately become an engaged and revenue-generating contact.

Step 3: Dial Up Your Touchpoints, to a Point

Now that you have dialed in your re-engagement campaigns and automated some well-considered segments, it is time to optimize your re-engagement strategy. Research from the Online Marketing Institute suggests that the ideal number of touchpoints to deliver a qualified sales lead is between 7 and 13. This means from the first website interaction or email opt-in, you may need to offer a lead some form of engagement and interaction 6 to 12 more times before they are ready to buy. Your re-engagement campaign is a great way to reactivate a contact who has been dormant for a while, but you can’t stop there. Building out follow up campaigns targeted specifically to contacts who interact with your re-engagement campaign is a great tactic for increasing the number of touchpoints with a lead.

By responding to or engaging with your re-engagement campaign, a contact is telling you they are still interested, even if they are not quite ready to start buying. Re-segment these contacts into another campaign and consider dialing up the touchpoints with new offers or tactics. On the other hand, if a few attempts at re-engagement have not yielded any response, consider dropping this contact and focusing your resources on the leads that are more responsive. By keeping your contact database relatively lean and engaged, you can ensure you are making the most of your time and resources.

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